Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Saturday musings

As I was walking to the gym this morning, I started thinking for some reason about my maternal grandmother.  She immigrated to the US from Finland in her early 20's and lived on a farm in a Finnish community her whole life, so she still has a very thick accent and never really learned to speak English fluently.

We have all always considered her to be your typical sweet little old grandma.  She is so loving and never wants anyone to fight or have any sort of conflict.  But I've never really considered until now if that is really her *true* personality.  So many of us expats here in France lament about never being truly ourselves in French - we say aren't as funny, outgoing, deep, expressive, etc - and it occurred to me all of the sudden that she has likely felt the same over the past nearly 70 years in the US.  Unfortunately though I don't think her English is good enough to understand me if I tried to bring it up....and my Finnish skills have long gone by the wayside after so many years in France.



Blogger Bee Ean said...

Do you feel she acts differently speaking in Finnish vs English?
I tried to encourage my daughter to speak Mandarin so that she can communicate with my family back in Malaysia. However, I can feel that she struggles, she is a chatty box with her paternal grandmother in French, but she doesn't speak much with my mother. She told me that there are words she doesn't know how to express in Mandarin, so she chose to keep quiet and the communication between her and my mother remain minimum.

August 26, 2017 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Jadie said...

Your grandmother sacrificed, as so many immigrants do and have done for generations. I wonder if she thinks it was worth it..

August 27, 2017 at 5:21 AM  

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